Batley: A town in fine voice

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The Batley Variations

St Mary’s Social Club, Batley November 23, 24, 25

Rehearsals are underway for a new, contemporary opera, which will premiere at the end of November and narrate 24 hours in the life of Batley and its people. Organisers are urging local folk to get their tickets early for what will be a sell out show. Billed as ‘ the inside story of a northern town’, The Batley Variations is being produced by 509 Arts and will be performed from November 23-25, in a specially made new cabaret environment. It will feature songs about The Golden Mile, Batley Bulldogs, Fox’s Biscuits, Batley Market- as well as lesser-known personal stories, which have inspired the songs about all things important in the former mill town. The songs have been written by Mike Kenny, known for his Olivier award-winning production of the Railway Children, and the music has been composed by Richard Taylor, recipient of two UK Theatre awards. The Batley Variations has been commissioned by Batley Business Association and Creative Scene and will be premiered at St Mary’s Social Club, in the heart of the town. Andrew Marsden, Chair of Batley Business Association, said: “We presented the very first Batley Does Opera in partnership with Opera North in 2016. Now, with massive support from Arts Council England through the National Lottery, we have commissioned something just as impressive and entirely born out of the people and stories here. We have a cast of more than 50 people including school children from Batley Grammar, Carlinghow Primary and Batley Parish, a factory worker, photographer and may more all joining together to bring this professional production to the town. The standard is so high - we have so much talent in Batley and the transformation of St Mary’s Social Club into a glamorous northern cabaret venue just has to be experienced.”

Tickets www.creativescene.org.uk